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ACTION: Unite should have Covid mitigation measures at its events

07 January 2023 / Terry Conway

Click here to sign the open letter to Sharon Graham and Unite’s NEC!

Text of the letter:

We are writing to you as members of Unite to express our concern at the lack of COVID-19 safety measures at recent Unite events. These include the recent Regional and National Industrial Sector Conferences, the National Equality conferences and the National Community conference.

Over the course of the pandemic, Unite reps have been fighting in their workplaces to ensure that employers take the necessary steps to protect workers. In so doing, they have been following Unite policy. It is therefore all the more unacceptable that our own union has not sought in recent times to apply its own policy to its own spaces.

We believe Unite, as a signatory of the Covid Safety Pledge, must abide by basic safety measures as recommended by Independent SAGE and other experts. These include:

Encouraging the wearing of masks at all Unite events

Provision of masks and hand gel at all Unite events

Providing adequate ventilation, which can be achieved through portable HEPA air filters

We also believe that, in the interest of accessibility, inclusion and democracy, online facilities should be available so that all members can participate in all Unite in-person meetings and conferences.

The current situation is putting members, especially those who are clinically vulnerable, at risk or excluding them from the union’s democratic structures. Further this has the potential to undermine our credibility as a union in fighting to ensure employers protect their staff. We urge you to take steps to ensure Covid mitigation measures are put in place for all in-person events.

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